Archive for August, 2010

Nanaimo Cruise Ship Terminal Open House Sept 8

The Nanaimo Port Authority is holding an informational open house on the new Cruise Ship Terminal and Welcoming Centre
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Departure Bay Room
VI Conference Centre
101 Gordon Street

Dental Clinic Needs a Helping Hand

We’ve talked before about the non-profit community dental clinic planned to go into the building that also houses The Diner’s Rendezvous. It’s coming along, but needs a helping hand in order to open its doors.

Are you a skilled drywaller or painter?  Are you good with a hammer?  If you are experienced and would be willing to volunteer some time or offer your services at a greatly reduced rate, please call John Horn, City of Nanaimo Social Planner, at 755.4483 or Volunteer Nanaimo at 758-7121.

Building Developments

Summer has been fairly quiet, according to Gary Noble, Development Approval Planner.  The one thing that you may have noticed is the construction happening at 9 Nicol Street on the Port Place mall property.  A former gas station site, workers are currently decontaminating the site and grading will be next on the agenda.

Neighbourhood Plan

This in from our Community Planner Chris Sholberg:

We have been refining the South End draft plan over the summer based on input from various city departments and outside stakeholder agencies such as the provincial Ministry of Transportation, and Ministry of Environment, as well as the Nanaimo Port Authority, Island Corridor Foundation and Snuneymuxw First Nation among others, and the neighbourhood plan committee.  We are working to have a finalized draft of the neighbourhood plan ready for review and endorsement by the City’s Plan Nanaimo Advisory Committee later this month and then be in a position to introduce the plan to Council in October for the required statutory review including a public hearing (likely in November or December).

The Book House…could it happen?

The neighbourhood bookshelf on Irwin Street has become a beehive of activity over the past few years.  The contributions are becoming more generous, as are the quality of the books that people are leaving.  And while it has given good service, as you can see from the photo, it wants to retire and go read a few books…:) As winter approaches, we’re dreaming of a studier bookshelf, with…dare we ask for it…some doors on the front to keep out the rain.  And maybe even a little roof?  (suggested by an passer-by that it could become “The Book House”..we like it…:)

Can you help?  Do you have any solid wood that could be used to build or upgrade a new bookshelf?  Or an old wood cupboard that might fit into the space that you could give us?  Or could you donate a few hours to help construct something creative?  If so, call Barbara at 740.0123.

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Next monthly meeting is Wednesday September 8 @ 7 PM.

Princess Royal Centre, corner of Irwin and Farquhar.

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Say hello to Art Bin # 29!

First family portrait with the Loaves and Fishes guys

Christened Osama  Bin Laden by the guys at Loaves and Fishes, he already has a clear job description:  “to terrorize anyone who dares to leave litter on Farquhar Street or in the Loaves and Fishes parking lot.“”

Fortunately, due to the diligence of the folks at L&F, over the past year or so, there has been a reduced incidence of overnight dumping in their parking lot.  (This creates an added expense that they can ill afford.)

With Osama on guard, they will be protected 24 hours a day.  And the good news is that since he only eats litter, the often-stretched food shelves will not be impacted by his adoption.  He’s the perfect family member…:)

Thanks Mike, Abbey, and the rest of the team at Loaves and Fishes.  We’re proud, too, to have you in our community!

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On Line Information
There is a lot of community-building information on the Internet. Here are three web sites and one article of interest:

Landshare is a group formed in Britain which connects people who want to grow vegetables but have no place to do so, with people who have land and are willing to share it. This is one method to get around the high cost of agricultural land and get people producing with minimal cost. This is an idea that would be worth adopting here on Vancouver Island. The group has over 53,000 members. Click  here.

The Free Economy Community is another British organization, one that promotes and enables people to share skills, tools and spaces outside the money economy. Click  here


ICLEI (International Council for Environmental Initiatives) “is an international association of local governments… who have made a commitment to sustainable development.” There are some 1200 of these world wide and Nanaimo is one of them. (Yea Nanaimo!) Click   here

Urban Farming –  Seattle promotes urban farming in a big way. Click here

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Council offers its approval for 26-storey tower concept

Downtown highrise development will dramatically change the look of Port Place mall

Derek Spalding, Daily News, Published: Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nanaimo rethinks crack kits for addicts

City that was up in arms over giving free pipes to users has come around to harm reduction

Ian Bailey.  The Globe and Mail. Published on Saturday Aug 7, 2010

Interesting that the Globe and Mail would publish an in-depth article on this.  The comments are worth reading as well.

I asked Social Planner John Horn for a comment.  Here is his response.

As you know the issue of harm reduction carries some controversial elements.  There are strong arguments BOTH for and against the efforts that publically funded agencies are taking to implement  harm reduction in our community.

Each one of us has our own vision of the best solution.  But the best solution, really, comes from doing what helps the largest number.   This is happily where we seem to have landed in terms of how Nanaimo City Council chooses to respond to the distress caused by addictions in our community.

From a city standpoint, there’s much we cannot do.  The usual mechanisms of harm reduction are mainly in the hands of senior governments, clean needles, safe smoking kits etc.  But in the domain of land use we have committed to our own version of harm reduction – housing for the poorest.  This is probably the most powerful harm reduction tool in the toolbox.  “

Plans could drastically transform waterfront

Industrial area will become a transportation hub

Derek Spalding, Daily News, Published: Friday, August 06, 2010

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A mad, mad time was had by all, and there were lots of hats too. About 60 South End residents and friends gathered this Monday afternoon, drank tea from elegant cups, munched cake and cookies and told terrible jokes. The Red Queen mis-directed all and the Mad Hatter was, well, mad as a hatter. The South End Community Association thanks everyone who donated time, goodies and tea cups and made this tea party such a success. For a slide show click here.

A little More on “High Tea”

What fun we all had at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.  But no folks, contrary to popular opinion we were not smoking!

Even though it was taken over by the “higher” end of society with elegant little cakes, it started off as a working class meal to be eaten between six and seven in the evening after you came home from work and was quite substantial because you probably only had something like bread and cheese at noon although my favourite was pickled beetroot sandwiches.  So high tea would mean a cooked meal but usually didn’t take a lot of preparation.  Think sardines, tomatoes, baked beans,  eggs…)  A good favourite was a “fry up, “and If you lived near the sea it could be bread and butter and winkles or cockles and a nice piece of smoked haddock was acceptable too.  When times were a bit hard a nice head of cauliflower each, with Bovril or Marmite spread on was yummy.  Mum would buy herrings and they would be fried one day and as they came with the roe we could then have hard or soft roe on toast the next day.  When I was a young wife a good sized herring was still less than sixpence (about five cents).

Saturday was baking day so during the week there might be some cake left over from Sunday but bread and golden syrup was acceptable.  In the north, tripe was simmered in milk and I had it a few times but it really was an acquired taste! A lot of people had fish and chips on Friday, a hangover from the days when the church said that you had to eat fish on Friday. (With or without mushy peas) but we only had that when Dad was away as he thought that was very extravagant.

As you can tell, salad was not on the menu and apart from potatoes nearly every day, we only ate seasonal vegetables.  You younger ones won’t know what that means, of course, but cabbage was easy to grow and you could get one kind or another most of the year.

One of the amazing things for such a little island as Britain was that there were so many regional variations in “tea.”  My in-laws from Devon had tiddly oggies and other relations in the north had great dishes of soup with dumplings and I found that the Scots were especially fond of mince.
So does all this open up possibilities for next year’s August holiday Monday.  Maybe we should have Toad of Toad Hall Banquet!? I forgot, do people still eat welsh rabbit and toad in the hole?

Pat Portsmouth

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